Difference Between Non Verbal Communication and Para Language (With Table)

A human being is a social animal, and he needs a medium to share his expression, ideas, and feelings. And Communication is a method by which he can share his joy, sorrow, messages, ideas, etc., with others. There are a lot of parts of Communication like verbal and non-verbal communication. There are other subparts of these as well, like pitch, tone, body language, paralanguage, etc.

Non Verbal Communication vs Para Language

The difference between Non-Verbal Communication and Para Language is that Non-Verbal Communication is a communication method in which information is exchanged without using words. On the other hand, Para Language is a subpart of Non-Verbal Communication that uses non-lexical components of speech such as tone, pitch, pauses, volume, etc.

Non-Verbal Communication is used to convey messages, ideas, or information without using words. It can be anything like any signal, facial expressions, gestures, etc. Animals also use non-verbal methods to communicate with each other. It is the most important part of Communication as verbal Communication is also incomplete without non-verbal Communication.

Para Language is part of the Non-Verbal Communication method. It includes pitch, intonation, prosody, volume, etc., to convey the feeling or to express our ideas, etc. It can be expressed Consciously or even unconsciously. It is a unique method in which the same message can be expressed in different forms just by changing the volume, pitch, tone, etc., of the message.

Comparison Table Between Non Verbal Communication and Para Language

Parameters of ComparisonNon Verbal CommunicationPara Language
Definition It is a communication method that does not include words.It is the subpart of the communication method that uses tone, pitch, etc., in voice to express the feeling, idea, etc.
Part of BodyIt uses the whole body for communication.It generally uses modulation of voice.
MethodIt includes facial expressions, gestures, etc.It includes pitch, intonation, prosody, volume, etc.
Requirements It requires seeing as well as hearing of a message.It is only dependent on hearing the message.
Relevance It is easy to understand as it is a compilation of many methods.It requires other means, including itself, to understand the message.

What is Non Verbal Communication?

Non Verbal Communication is a communication method in which the sender and receiver exchange feelings, ideas, messages, etc., without using any words. It includes signal, posture, body language, gestures, and more things to communicate with each other. Even animals use these methods for communicating with other animals non verbally.

In the late 19th century, Charles Darwin writes a book on non-verbal communication method, “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals”. He studied that how different animals like lions, tigers, dogs, etc., communicated using expression and gestures, and by this first time, Non-Verbal Communication attracted everyone’s attention.

The study of Non Verbal Communication is dependent on three characteristics. The first one is the environmental conditions in which Communication takes place, the second is Communicators physical condition, and the last one is how the Communicators behave during Communication. It can be encoded and decoded either consciously or unconsciously.

It is a very important part of the communication method, as even during Verbal Communication, we are mostly affected by body language, movements, facial tones, and other non-verbal cues. And in any condition, when we are not able to understand someone’s language of Communication we mostly rely on non-verbal methods of Communication to communicate.

What is Para Language?

Para Language belongs to a part of Meta-Communication in which we share our message, ideas, feelings with others using non-verbal techniques like changing voice pitch, loudness, intonation, etc. It is a subpart of non-verbal communication, and like that, it can also be expressed consciously or unconsciously.

Whenever we speak verbally, very little important information is shared by words, most of the important things are dependent on Para Language. For example, whenever someone says sorry, the word sorry meant the same is dependent on tone, pitch, the intonation of that word. So, what a person is sharing is mainly dependent on these cues known as Para Language.

While speaking, if the speaker is taking long breaths or gasp, it shows he is nervous or telling lies. So while communicating these cues are more important as compared to words, so the person should be able to understand these clues. The study of Para Language is called paralinguistics.

Many people like motivational speakers, a person giving a presentation, or a person while public speaking needs to understand the importance of Para Language as listeners also observe paralinguistic cues of the speaker. So, studying Para Language can help them to become a good speaker.

Main Differences Between Non Verbal Communication and Para Language

  1. The main difference between Non Verbal Communication and Para Language is that Non Verbal Communication is a Communication method. On the other hand, Para Language is itself a component of the non-verbal method of Communication.
  2. Non Verbal Communication is a compilation of body language, movements, postures, etc., whereas Para Language includes voice tone, pitch, prosody, etc.
  3. Non Verbal Communication is a communication method that does not include words, but Para Language is a subpart of communication method that only uses modulation of voice.
  4. It is easy to understand Non Verbal Communication as it is a compilation of different components, whereas Para Language is just one component of Communication that can not be understood alone.
  5. In Non Verbal Communication receiver need to see and listen to the message but in Para Language receiver just needs to listen to the cues.


Communication is a two-way process, which requires both sender and receiver to complete the communication process. Whichever method is used sender just encodes the message, and the receiver needs to decode the message. This process can be done using many methods, and these methods are made up of many components.

Non Verbal Communication is used to express messages, ideas, and feelings using different components like eye contact, signals, gestures, postures, body language, etc. It is a communication method without words. And Para Language is just a component of communication method that uses the change in voice tone, pitch, intonation, etc., to send cues while communicating.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13682826809011441
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/08876040010341008/full/html